PDF pamphlet from 2003 with articles on mutinies in Vietnam and Yugoslavia.
Despite the media and the respectable leaders of antiwar movements endlessly repeating the lie that US forces withdrew from the Vietnam War due to peaceful protests in the streets of American cities we are not fooled. The US withdrew from Vietnam because it’s military was on the verge of collapse due to widespread desertion, the killing of officers and small-scale mutinies. US Marine Colonel Robert D. Heinl Jr. describes this process in considerable detail and amusing despair in the first article in this pamphlet, “The Collapse of the Armed Forces” which first appeared in Armed Forces Journal, 7 June, 1971.
In “Harass the Brass!”, Kevin Keating, a communist from San Francisco, examines the suppressed history of resistance and rebellion in the ranks of the US military. Much of Keating’s information is taken from “The Collapse of the Armed Forces” so it may at first appear redundant to include both articles. However Keating obviously has far better politics than Colonel Heinl and includes some information about earlier revolutionary mutinies in Russia, Germany and Spain. Other writings by Kevin Keating can be found at: www.infoshop.org/myep/love_index.html
“Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore” is a personal account of resistance within the US Army in Vietnam in 1969 by Dave Blalock.
“Mutiny in Banja Luka” by the Internationalist Communist Group is about a mutiny by Bosnian Serb soldiers in 1993. All the recent wars in Yugoslavia took place despite considerable resistance from conscripts, especially in the various Serbian armies. Resistance to the Kosovo war by Yugoslav army reservists is described in the last article in this pamphlet, “We Won’t go to Kosovo” by London based group No War but the Class War. NWBTCW has had three incarnations, to oppose both attacks on Iraq and the Kosovo war from an internationalist, revolutionary perspective opposed to all the warring states and would-be states. The Internationalist Communist Group has a website at http://www.geocities.com/Paris/6368/index_uk.htm. NWBTCW has a website with a lot of information about mutinies at http://www.geocities.com/nowar_buttheclasswar/index.html
The quasi-mutiny that forced the US out of Vietnam led to the end of the use of mass conscript armies by the major Western states. This “modernist” organisation of the military that was so susceptible to mass revolt has now been superseded within the major powers by “post-modernist” militaries that do not rely on masses of poorly trained infantry. Instead they employ large amounts of extremely sophisticated and expensive weapons, surveillance and communications technology coupled with highly trained Special Forces and where necessary cheap mercenaries (eg the Kosovo Liberation Army and The Northern Alliance in Afghanistan). When the post-modern US military has fought modern armies (Iraq 1991 and 2003, Yugoslavia 1999) it has won at least in part due to the refusal of the enemy soldiers to fight in movements echoing the earlier revolts that ended World War One and the Vietnam War. While easily able to smash its enemies on the battlefield the contemporary US military is not equipped for occupation duties as shown by its disastrous occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to many media reports the morale of US troops in Iraq is extremely poor. However this massive discontent has so far led only to small-scale resistance. Some of this small-scale resistance has added up to a considerable amount with 8000 deserters from the Iraq War. There have been two incidents of sergeants killing two of their superior officers. The first was in Kuwait just before the invasion and the second was in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit in June. There have probably been other killings of officers by their men that haven’t been publicized. It was quite common in the Vietnam War for for soldiers to shoot their officers in combat and make it appear as if their deaths were the result of enemy fire. There has also been a small mutiny among the US troops in Iraq. Last October eighteen army reservists refused to drive seven unarmoured fuel trucks on what they called a “suicide mission”.
This pamphlet was first published in December 2003 and this edition with Dave Blalock’s article added is from October 2006